Summary: Campaign 2016 has achieved what many thought impossible, unifying America’s ruling class — behind Hillary Clinton. If Clinton manages this skillfully, it will mark the end of political polarization among our elites and begin a new era of bipartisanship (while America’s citizens remain weak and fragmented). The effects could be huge. She and the Democrats will owe it all to Trump.
This election has become a carnival sideshow, behind our rulers are arranging a new government for America. There is no screen concealing these things. We just prefer to watch the entertaining follies up front, while our rulers take of business on the back of the stage.
There are three hundred thousand entries on Google for “political polarization”, mostly whining about its awfulness and pining for the bipartisanship of the days of yore. Worry no more! America’s ruling class has unified behind Hillary Clinton. Now she has to just build it into an enduring coalition, as FDR did.
Clinton’s coalition is a broad one, built by betraying some the Left’s core beliefs (just as the GOP came to power in 1964-1982 by adding racism to its platform). Bold foreign wars and aggressive domestic surveillance won support of the neocons and military-industrial-complex. Goldman, as usual, got in early and built Clinton’s support from Wall Street. The coy Clinton-Kaine will-they-won’t-they act prepares for their eventual support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (hence her support by big business).
Slowly people are seeing the truth. Such as Aran Gupta at CounterPunch…
“The elite are aware that the Democrats are more capable managers of capitalist globalization, diplomacy, and war than the Republicans. It’s why Clinton is attracting a bipartisan cast of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the mainstream media, and the military and foreign policy establishment. Clinton also has unions, feminists, and civil rights groups behind her. They serve as progressive window dressing and troops for swing-state trench warfare in return for a “seat at the table” but no real say.”
While the facts can be seen, we can only imagine the consequences from this new unity of our ruling elites. How long will it last, with what effects?
There are few historical precedents for a successful and enduring dominate political coalition in America. The extraordinary stress of the Depression and WWII allowed the Democrats to achieve this under FDR (it broke under Truman). To see how this might work in peacetime, imagine if in the late 1850s the Democrats brokered a compromise on slavery (e.g., regulate it in the South with limited expansion in the West) — leaving the Republicans a fringe party.
It might be happening now, as I prophetically wrote in 2013: the Democratic Party takes the center, pushes GOP right to madness. A unified ruling class, led by a resurgent 1%, with an apathetic and passive citizenry — who can say what changes might be made to America in the next decade?
” “For the mob, use grapeshot.”
— Attributed to the Duke of Wellington. The sentiments of our ruling elites don’t change, but their tools do.
In the midst of the campaign we cannot clearly see events, but here are past campaigns showing unusually high levels of elite unity: against McGovern in 1972, against FDR in 1932, and (the extreme example, the most expensive election in US history in terms of GDP) McKinley against William Jennings Bryan in 1896.
For More Information
- Forecast: Clinton will crush Trump in November.
- The five reasons Trump will lose in November.
- Hillary runs as a populist because we’re easily fooled. Will we prove her wrong?
- What to expect from Team Hillary in the White House.